Promotion of behavioural change in people with hypertension: An intervention study

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To assess the efficacy of a comprehensive motivational approach in reducing blood pressure in Italian patients with hypertension.


Two hundred and ninety-two first visit patients with hypertension without diabetes and dyslipidemia and with BMI < 28 were enrolled. One hundred and forty-two were randomly assigned to a Control group (C) and 150 to an Intervention group (I). A ten-multiple-choice questionnaire was developed to evaluate the effect of the intervention on lifestyle modification. Patients were given the questionnaire, had their BP measured and drug therapy registered before educational intervention and 12 months later. Group I patients participated in the focus group and in the role play 2 and 4 months, respectively, after recruitment. Group C patients received the oral information.

Main outcome measure

Blood pressure values and lifestyle modification. An intention to treat analysis was undertaken. Analysis was performed using SPSS version 15.0.


Of the 150 group I patients, 58 participated in both focus group and role play, 30 participated only in focus group and the remaining 62 never participated. After 12 months, there was a significant reduction of BP for group I (P < 0.001) and a significant reduction only for systolic BP in group C (P = 0.01). Diastolic BP and systolic BP decreased more markedly in group I than in group C, with P < 0.001 for both. We found a significant improvement of lifestyle modification after 12 months of follow-up concerning some aspects in both groups.


Our findings show that a motivational approach is a powerful tool for achieving better blood pressure control and is an essential skill for all healthcare professionals.

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